Internet is something that we use in our daily lives. We are surrounded by the internet and internet-powered gadgets all around. We use this service all day every day, whether it’s for work, watching movies, playing games, communicating with loved ones, conducting business, or sending data to long distances. These are a few types of tasks that every user performs in their day-to-day lives, and all these activities are linked with the internet.
The internet has been so deeply rooted in our society that it almost seems impossible to get rid of it now. That’s both a good and a bad thing at the same time, as the internet has brought ease and convenience to our lives by reducing the workload and streamlining the transmission of data. On the other hand, it has somehow made people addicted to it and you see everyone stuck to their mobiles or laptop screens without paying any heed to their overall surroundings.
This dependence on the internet also happened in quite a rush, if we just take a look at the technological situation a decade ago we will realize that internet wasn’t this mainstream technology that half of the population has access to today. That’s because of two major things, the cost, and availability. Over time internet has grown rapidly both in size and area and with this technological advancement the price of a high-speed internet connection has become quite affordable.
Today a high-speed internet connection is easier to afford, many internet providers are also offering tremendous discounts on internet connections, which have allowed more and more users to subscribe to a high-speed connection. You yourself can learn more about affordable internet deals by clicking here.
Plus, not only the cost but the service area of the internet has been vastly increased. That’s because telecom giants are pumping billions of dollars to improve their infrastructure so that the internet can reach far and wide places, in order to increase their customer base. Because more customers mean more revenue. So in a way, it’s a win-win situation for both businesses and consumers.
Moreover, ever since the pandemic, the demand for the internet has also shot up because most of our daily tasks are now done over the internet, take an example of work from home and online classes. These are the two most important tasks that are being performed on the internet. Since we are doing such important tasks over the internet there is always a looming question that how much internet speed is required for such tasks? The answer to that question is complicated, however, we will try to explain it.
The Link between Usage and Internet Speed
The internet speed is the biggest quantifier when choosing an internet connection. Many providers or to be honest, all service providers advertise their internet plans according to their speeds. The difference in pricing is also justified by the speed of the connection. The higher the speed, the expensive the plan will be.
In today’s world, there are providers offering speeds as low as 3Mbps, meanwhile, some providers offer up to 3000Mbps to their residential customers. As the cost is majorly dependent on the speed, many users don’t want to compromise on the speed so that they won’t be stuck with a bad connection that can hamper their work and education-related tasks. Then the question here is what should be the optimal internet speed? The even simpler answer to this is, it all depends on the usage.
There is no hard and fast rule to determine the optimal speed as internet speed is something that relies on various factors ranging from the nature of the activity being performed and the number of users simultaneously using a single internet connection.
In times of pandemic and lockdowns families were together at home and they used to do work and entertainment activities on a single connection, that too simultaneously. And all these activities were quite heavy on the internet that is why back in the day it was recommended to switch to connections with 1 Gig or more speed. But now as things are starting to return to normalcy, every user needs to reevaluate their usage in order to get the right internet package. Since every internet activity requires a different amount of speed we are going to classify mostly done internet activities over the internet and how much speed they require so a regular user can get a better idea.
Internet Speed Required for Different Activities
Here we are assuming a family of 5 and according to that, we will be explaining how much speed different internet activities take and also suggesting what kind of speed a user should go for depending on the nature of these activities.
#1. Work from Home and Online Classes
These are the most important tasks that are done on the internet and both these tasks work on video conferencing. However, there are other activities as well but they don’t take that much speed, the significant chunk is taken by video conferencing. According to highspeedinternet.com a download speed of 10Mbps while an upload speed of 1Mbps is required for every user for a good video conferencing experience.
If we consider a family of 5 out of which an estimated 3 persons are video conferencing at the same time then getting a 50Mbps connection is a safe bet as it will leave adequate bandwidth for other users to perform other basic activities as well on the same connection. So strictly for work and education purposes along with some other basic internet activities a connection of 50Mbps to 100Mbps is going to be optimal.
#2. Video Streaming
This is another common activity that is being performed on the internet. According to research, standard definition video streaming requires 3Mbps to 5Mbps speed while 4k streaming requires somewhat around 25Mbps of speed per user. So if we consider 4k streaming done by 3 users simultaneously that makes up almost 125Mbps of speed. So for a family of 5, it is optimal to get a connection of somewhere between 200Mbps to 300Mbps for optimal performance of the internet even for 4k streaming.
This is a tricky one since gaming requires real-time response thus online gaming is an activity that requires the highest amount of speed and bandwidth because a gamer cannot even afford a lag of seconds. Here the actual factor is not the speed, but latency. So to ensure minimum latency, an internet connection should be based upon the cable or fiber optic transmission medium as they offer minimum latency.
Also, users should avoid a satellite internet connection because it has high latency and can make an online game unplayable. The advertised minimum speed is between 3Mbps to 5Mbps for most games. However, we recommend that to eliminate the latency factor a user should at least have 50Mbps dedicated speed for a seamless gaming experience. In that regards a family of 5 should go for a connection between 300Mbps to 500Mbps if they have gamers at home.
The FCC considers a 25Mbps internet connection as a high-speed connection but we can see that this metric is outdated in today’s time when online activities have become so intense in terms of speed. That is why we have created this list with the most frequently performed internet activities and the speeds they consume.
We have also tried giving our estimates that what speed a user should go with. However, in the end, it depends on the nature of usage and the number of users using the internet. So if a user pleases, they can go with as high as 1Gig or as low as 10Mbps for their entire household. But before doing so it is important to calculate your usage so you don’t get stuck with a bad connection nor do you end up overpaying for a service.